Karen Richman

Karen Richman

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Director of Undergraduate Academic Programs, Institute for Latino Studies
Concurrent Faculty, Anthropology
Faculty, Romance Languages and Literatures

Office: 230 McKenna Hall
Phone: 574-631-8146
Email: krichman@nd.edu

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Areas of Expertise

  • Geographic focus: Mexico, the Caribbean (Haiti), and the United States.
  • Religion
  • Migration
  • Transnationalism
  • Gender
  • Production and consumption

A cultural anthropologist, Richman is one of the world’s leading scholars on Haitian culture, migration, religion, vodou, labor and language. The author of “Migration and Vodou,” Richman discredits myths of exotic and primitive vodou long used against Haitians. The book provides a rare excursion into the innovative ways a community of Léogane, Haiti, migrants has maintained religious traditions and familial connections. She says one out of every five Haitians is thought to live outside the country and that last year Haitians sent back $1 billion in remittances. She says Haitian families raise children to emigrate rather than producing capital-generating products and that the Jan., 2010, earthquake upset the delicate and vulnerable reciprocity of the Haitians’ culture of migration. Richman also is the author of an ethnographic biography of a Mexican immigrant woman. She has conducted fieldwork on American consumer culture and worked as an advocate for immigrants and migrant farm workers in the United States. Her current research project is an interdisciplinary study of Mexican immigrants’ social wealth, savings and retirement supported by the National Endowment for Financial Education.


Notre Dame Research – Immigration


Institute for Latino Studies report offers insights into the role of gender for Latino savings and retirement

U.S. Department of the Treasury Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg highlight Financial Security Day program

Faculty awards honor exemplary work in undergraduate teaching and advising

OpenCourseWare program recognized for excellence

New study examines dire retirement security of Latinos

Richman honored for online Creole course that builds connections to Haiti

International award highlights growing OpenCourseWare initiative at Notre Dame

Institute for Latino Studies to research immigrant retirement savings


The Atlantic—The Willpower Gene

Wall Street Journal—Reaching Out to Latinos

USA Today: Mass Graves may have lasting spiritual impact in Haiti

Huffington Post: Notre Dame Offers Free Online Course in Haitian Language and Culture